Pepole Sikkim has population of about three lakhs, made up of Lepchas, Nepalese and Bhutias. The Lepchas are the oldest inhabitants of Sikkim. There is an old Lepcha legend that long ago, the laughter of the Lepchas wafted into the sky and it scattered and froze into shimmering stars. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Tibetans arrived bringing with them the Red Hat Lamist tradition - Nying -ma-pa, which became the dominant culture and official state religion.
Major Tourist Attractions in Sikkim: Gangtok, Gyalshing, Mangan, Namchi etc.
Sikkim is one of the most enthralling regions in Himalayas. This hidden valley of rice or "BayulDemojong" as called by the local people and is a tiny State of the Union territory of India.
It is inhabited by Nepalese, Lepchas, Bhutias, Tibetans and surrounded by the Tibetan Plateau in the North, Nepal in the West, Bhutan in the East and West Bengal along its Southern border.
The awe inspiring Kanchanjunga peaks guards its valley, turquoise lakes, steams and gorges. Its Capital is Gangtok with its mysterious mist, fluttering prayer flags painted pagoda roofed houses, rich culture heritage and its friendly smiling people.
SIKKIM offers to her visitors a rare and singular experience of a life time. Since the major portion of SIKKIM has opened to both the domestic and foreign visitors in recent time, one can experience the most fascinating scenic beauty, breathtaking experience and chilling white river water for River Rafting bonanza.
PhangLabsol - End August, Bum-chu - January-February, LhababDhuechen, Saga Dawa - End of May or early June, DrupkaTekshi - Around August etc.
Flora &Fauna : Because of the altitude that vary right from sea level to summits that touch the skies, the flora and fauna naturally covers a wide spectrum. Nowhere in the world in such a small area can one find flora and fauna of all varieties - Tropical to the Alpines. Sikkim's botanical and zoological richness is awe- inspiring, boasting of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of all the birds found in the Indian sub-continent . No wonder Sikkim has been a dream of naturalists. Dr. J. Hooker during the middle of the last century surveyed in the detail the botanical wealth in Sikkim and his findings were embodied in the publication 'Himalayan Journal' that is still considered as an authoritative document. Dr. Salim Ali an ornithologist has given a detailed account on birds in his book 'The birds of Sikkim'. Besides these there are many books available on the flora & fauna of sikkim.
Plants : The lowlands in the south, 800'to 5000', experience a tropical climate; lush vegetation such as figs, laurel, Sal trees and bamboos have been cleared in some areas for farming. The temperate forest of oak, chestnut, maple, birch, alder, magnolia and silver fir dominates between 5000; and 13000. Above 13000, is the alpine zone where juniper, cypresses and rhododendrons grow. The perpetual snowline lies at 16000'. Luxuriant forests cover 36% of the land, more than 4000 species of plant have been recorded in Sikkim. Over 600 species of orchids grow in Sikkim, Epiphytal and terresterial types, in the tropical and temperate zones. 35 species of rhododendrons grow in temperate and alpine regions, their flowering from May to August colours hillsides.
Animals : Amongst the mammals of Sikkim are the rare Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda, Musk Deer and Blue Sheep.
Birdlife is abundant with Giant Lammergeier, Vultures, Eagles, Whistling Thursh, Minivets, Bulbuls and Pheasants among the 550 species to be seen in Sikkim